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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 October, 2003, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Zanardi makes his point
Alex Zanardi
Zanardi drove a car with specially-modified controls
Former Grand Prix driver Alex Zanardi earned European Touring Car points in his first competitive races since losing both legs in a crash.

Zanardi lasted 11 seconds in race one but came seventh in race two at Monza on Sunday.

The Italian drove a specially-modified BMW car in the closing event of this season's competition.

He said he wanted to prove he can be a competitive driver again.

In race one, the 36-year-old, starting from the sixth row following his 11th place in qualifying, was involved in a six-car pile-up at the first curve.

As for people asking if I am going to come back, I don't have an answer for them now
Alex Zanardi
But in the second, he climbed to seventh place by the end of the nine-lap event, earning two championship points.

The race was won by his German team-mate Jorg Muller, with Dutchman Tom Coronel in second and Italy's Gabriele Tarquini third.

"The second race was better than the first one," Zanardi said afterwards.

"I am not super happy because that would have been if I won the race. I am still encouraged to see where I am after these very few days of practice and very little time in the car.

"From my point of view, it was fine. As for people asking if I am going to come back, I don't have an answer for them now."

Zanardi, a two-time Cart champion, lost both legs in a horrific crash in Germany in 2001.

He hand operates the car's accelerator and clutch, which are attached to the steering wheel, and uses his thigh to apply the specially-adapted brakes.

About 30,000 fans crowded Monza, venue of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix, to see the motor-racing star make his comeback.

US drivers Jimmy Vasser and Tony Kanaan flew to Monza to support the popular Italian.

Kanaan last raced in Monza on the Williams F1 team in the 1999 Italian GP, while Vasser was Zanardi's team-mate at Chip Ganassi Racing in the Cart years.

"He may have lost his legs but he did not lose his spirit and his love for motor racing," Vasser said.




SEE ALSO
Zanardi quits racing
11 May 03  |  Motorsport
Zanardi looks to new horizons
10 Jul 02  |  Motorsport


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